Nick has a MA (Cantab) in Natural Sciences and joined the Materials Division at NPL in 1984. He received his PhD in 1993 from Queen Mary and Westfield College for work developing a test method for hard materials based on Edge Flaking. During his career at NPL he has worked on developing and commercialisation of test methods for hard materials, confocal microscopy for surface examination, grain sizing and simulation for hard metals, and virtual testing for composite materials. He has helped develop various websites demonstrating uses of virtual reality for materials science and material selectors. He was responsible for the deployment of the NPL Grid distributed computing system which he used to perform input sensitivity analysis of Finite Element Analysis.
More recently, he developed measurement techniques for fibre Bragg gratings and fibre-based corrosion measurement techniques.
He has been involved in many industrially focused collaborative projects and he has been a theme leader for Physical Modelling and a theme leader for Structural Health Monitoring.
Nick McCormick helped develop a Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) demonstrator based around a concrete footbridge that was used to investigate accelerated aging and as a test bed for many different types of point sensors. Most recently he has developed NPL's capability in Digital Image Correlation and uniquely applied it to civil engineering structures like bridges and piers.
This technique has great potential for use in determining in-plane deformation and also for measuring crack growth and structural deterioration. Future plans are to expand the types of structures that can be analysed and to use with other measurement types so that measurements of large structures, like tunnels, can provide condition information. At the other end of the length scale techniques to allow residual stresses in the first millimetre of a materials surface are being developed.